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Australia considers extending interception law to OTT

Australia considers extending interception law to OTT

The Australian attorney-general’s department (AGD) has argued in favour of extending Australia's telecoms interception laws from telcos to over the top providers, reports ZDNet. Speaking before the Joint Committee on Law Enforcement, AGD assistant secretary Andrew Warnes said this expansion would help combat the “challenge of encryption”. “The obligations that sit under the Telecommunications Act under Section 313 for reasonable assistance to law enforcement only applied now to those subset of telecommunications providers that are carriers, and not to the over the top providers and the social media platforms,” Warnes said. “So when you now put on an intercept, that communication may be potentially encrypted, and you may not get information back that is in a usable form, or you may get information that takes some time for you to be able to decipher and use, and sometimes in circumstances of urgency. That’s one of the challenges we’re looking at; it’s one that government has come out and said that we’re actively working towards legislation on.” Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) CEO Michael Phelan said the process of telco interceptions is becoming increasingly difficult due to new technologies, with 5G mobile networks to make this even harder. According to Phelan, as of a year ago, around 60% of the traffic that law enforcement was dealing with in interception orders was data rather than voice, which he said will only increase when 5G networks arrive. “When we move to systems like 5G – 4G is problematic as is – but when you move to 5G, when identifiers don't exist for a device and they use dynamic IP addresses, then it will make it even difficult to use the metadata to track.” Read more

  • Monday, 21 May 2018

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